Islay Whisky Adventure - Small Group


A whisky and nature lover's dream

Tour Only Price from £235

Tour with Accommodation Price from £380

Tour Description

Please note, we will not be running our 4-day Islay tour in 2019. However, our sister company Scottish Routes specialise in Whisky tours - so check them out for comprehensive tours of Islay and Speyside!  

Day 1

Our small-group tour begins on Edinburgh’s most famous street, the Royal Mile where you will meet your incredible Highland Experience driver-guide. Begin your journey through Edinburgh before continuing toward the western city of Glasgow, to pick up the rest of your tour group. We’ll then make our way to our first distillery; Glengoyne. Often called Scotland’s prettiest distillery, this is the perfect place to begin our 4-day whisky adventure. We can enjoy views of Loch Lomond from the little village of Tarbet, and see the Rest and Be Thankful Pass, which offers a beautiful viewpoint over Glen Croe, before catching the ferry from Kennacraig to Islay. Keep an eye out for local wildlife, you may catch a glimpse of seals, dolphins or even whales! You will then be dropped off at your accommodation in the charming fishing village of Port Ellen. You’ll notice the malted barley smell in the air, as Islay's coast is flanked with distilleries.

Day 2

Islay is inhabited by just over 3,000 people and is home to 8 distilleries! You’ll recognise the warmth of the people here immediately, as you experience the famous "Islay wave". The first Islay distillery we’ll visit is Bowmore, where you will learn their lengthy process of making the perfect dram and be able to enjoy the view over Loch Indaal while you try their single malt.  You’ll also visit Bruichladdich and Kilchoman distilleries in the afternoon and get a chance to try their delicious whisky. Kilchoman farm distillery, despite being one of Scotland’s smallest distilleries, has every part of the distilling process on site. Today you will also be able to enjoy a walk along Machir beach, with 2km of perfect sand, this is arguably Islay’s most spectacular beach.

Day 3

The magnificent carved Celtic Cross at Kildalton is one of the finest in Scotland. This early Christian cross is found in the grounds of the Old Parish Church of Kildalton which we’ll tour in the morning before making our way to our first distillery of day 3, Ardbeg. Awarded the title of ''World Whisky of the Year'' 4 times in the last 7 years, this is an unmissable stop on our tour. We’ll continue to Lagavulin distillery and, finally, Laphroaig – its distinctive flavour saw it thrive in America during the Prohibition (1920-1933) where its import was allowed due it being labelled a 'medicinal spirit'.

Day 4

Our final day begins with a morning ferry crossing from Port Ellen to Kennacraig. From here we’ll make the short drive to Loch Fyne at Tarbert for lunch. This picturesque fishing village has delicious fresh seafood on offer around the harbourside. After lunch, we’ll make our way to Kilmartin Glen where you can explore Dunadd Fort. Occupied since the Iron Age, there are some extraordinary features carved into the rock here. Finally, we’ll visit Loch Lomond where your guide will ensure you get the best views of the UK's largest loch. We’ll then have to say goodbye as we return you to your departure city.


Please note the tour does not include the whisky distillery fees, please budget about £60.00 for these. Distilleries may change depending on availability. 

This tour is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18.

Luggage limit 15KGMAX 15kg 55 x 40 x 20cm

Islay Whisky Adventure - Small Group Route Map

Tour Highlights

Scotland Highlight 1Glengoyne*

Distilled in the Highlands and matured in the lowlands.

Scotland Highlight 2Ferry

Wildlife spotting.

Scotland Highlight 3Port Ellen

Your base for 3 nights.

Scotland Highlight 4Islay Distilleries*

such as Bowmore, Ardbeg and Kilchoman.

Scotland Highlight 5Kilmartin Glen

Neolithic and Bronze Age remains. 

Tour Details

Departure Days:
Tuesdays only
from 4th April – 25 September

8.30 / 19.00
Reference: Tour No 18

   Check-in Closes 15 mins prior to departure at pick-up point


Tour Reviews

We had an amazing experience, with John Paul as our guide we were always entertained and informed. He was always prepared with information and stories. He pointed out relics and kept even those of us that weren't whiskey lovers interested. There were 4 couples on the tour and we all got along fabulously!! What a wonderful memory we have, can't wait to go back!! We highly recommend his tour!

( RoPiccoli – Trip Advisor – September 2017)


This tour is new and I was thrilled to see that Highland Experience had finally added Islay to their line-up. It was hands down the best bus tour I've ever taken. Our guide, Andrew, was just awesome: knowledgable, friendly, entertaining and took us to all the best places to take pictures, have lunch etc. The tour is advertised as visiting six distilleries on Islay but we got to go to all eight of them which is a whisky lover's dream. Add in some lovely nature, some culture and you have the perfect trip. Our four distilleries a day were not only spread out in a way that allowed for tastings everywhere without getting beyond pleasantly tipsy. And the experiences were different in all of them: full blown tours of Kilchoman and Bowmore, whisky and chocolate (to die for combo) at Caol Ila and Lagavulin, straight tasting at Bruichladdich and Laphroaig, lunch and whisky at Ardbeg, and the absolute highlight, a warehouse tasting at Bunnahabhain with the chance to fill your own bottle straight from the cask. Just an incredible trip overall, well worth the money.

(CarolinaDreams – Trip Advisor – August 2017)


We were slighty anxious to put our holiday in someone else's hands, but were glad we did. From the moment we met at our pickup point, our tour guide Andrew took care of every single detail of the trip leaving us to enjoy the scenery, the company and most of all the whiskies. The itinerary on the website turned out to be more of a suggestion, as Andrew managed to take us to nine distilleries in total, with ample time to spend at each one and often with tastings that had been tailored to the group. We also experienced the best foods and sights available in the area, but as the focus was definitely on the whisky non-drinkers might not have had as good of a time. We sampled 48 drams on the trip and still managed to bring home the memories ... Best trip ever!

( iiroanni – Trip Advisor – July 2017)

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